COVID-19 policy update

HEROES Act Stalls in Senate

May 22, 2020

Despite the 101 representatives who called for $2 billion in funding for libraries, a bipartisan letter signed by 46 senators calling for new library stabilization funding, and a coalition of 35 national organizations, the HEROES Act provided only $5 million for libraries through the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The HEROES Act does aim to increase digital equity. The House bill provides $4 billion to expand high-speed internet access to those who cannot afford it, … Continue reading HEROES Act Stalls in Senate


COVID-19 policy update

ALA Rallies Support for Congressional COVID-19 Relief Packages

May 12, 2020

According to the letter, “COVID-19 has caused significant revenue losses for libraries, resulting in thousands of furloughs and layoffs to date. Fiscal stabilization is needed to preserve crucial library services for students, job seekers, and small businesses.” Citing significant support for libraries in Congress, the letter’s signatories wrote, “We join with more than 100 bipartisan … Continue reading ALA Rallies Support for Congressional COVID-19 Relief Packages


Fund Libraries: Tell Congress to Invest in Libraries graphic, with red and white text on black background

Library Advocates Stay in Motion

April 1, 2020

February 10 may feel like 100 years ago, but that date marked—for a fourth consecutive year—the administration’s threat to eliminate all library funding from the federal budget. As ever, library advocates responded with emphatic determination. The annual campaign to gather support for the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program began with ALA’s annual fly-in, the timing of which aligned with the … Continue reading Library Advocates Stay in Motion


Collage of states on green background

State-by-State Snapshots

March 2, 2020

California Funding from state: $26.5 million earmarked for counties for outreach, some of which may go to libraries A cohort of California librarians, in conjunction with the California State Library and the California Library Association (CLA), created an online toolkit for libraries to help prepare for the census. CLA also established an online portal of … Continue reading State-by-State Snapshots


From left: Melanie Toledo (at podium), Carolyn Petersen, and Janessa Esquivel.

Supporting Tribal Libraries

February 28, 2020

At “Perspectives on Outreach to Tribal Libraries,” a February 28 program at the Public Library Association’s 2020 Conference in Nashville, librarians from tribal libraries and the state libraries that support them offered tips for successful collaboration. Have a purpose. Are you from a state or public library that wants to reach out and network with … Continue reading Supporting Tribal Libraries



Left to right: John O’Brien, TyLisa Johnson, Christi Buker, Shawnda Hines.

Making the News

January 27, 2020

Christi Buker, executive director of the Pennsylvania Library Association, stressed that libraries should focus on what they do best when conducting advocacy, highlighting successful programs and outreach efforts that can justify continued or new government funding. Alternately, Buker said that libraries need to focus on the bad, too. If libraries are hurting due to lack … Continue reading Making the News


Meredith Farkas

Your Library’s Story

January 2, 2020

The idea that the library data we all collect and share could be used against us is troubling, and it has left me thinking about how important it is that library workers find ways to control the narrative about our own value. In an era of shrinking budgets, libraries must find ways to tell our … Continue reading Your Library’s Story



K. O. Lee Aberdeen (S.Dak.) Public Library, from framing to final product. Photos: K. O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library (top three); Spencer Sommer/MSR (bottom)

How to Build a Library

September 3, 2019

These libraries, each completed within the past three years, are now centerpieces of their communities. They have inspired awe and appreciation, increased user engagement, received architecture and design awards—and won over some of their critics. So how did these endeavors come together? How does a beautiful building become a reality? We asked three administrators—who have … Continue reading How to Build a Library


US Capitol

August Is for Advocacy

July 24, 2019

As you may have heard in the news, the Trump administration appears to be moving forward with a budget deal, after weeks of negotiations between congressional leaders and White House officials. The agreement currently includes increased or level funding for most domestic and defense programs. In May, the House included significant increases in their funding, … Continue reading August Is for Advocacy